Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Jury awards $127,998 to former Ocean City lifeguard who claimed age discrimination.

According to a July 27, 2017 court order entered by Cape May County Superior Court Judge Noah Bronkesh, a jury awarded a former lifeguard who sued Ocean City for age discrimination $127,998.

In his complaint, Paul McCracken claimed that City officials, by removing $53,000 from the Beach Patrol's budget in 2008, intentionally targeted senior lifeguards due to their age.  He claimed that the cut forced older lifeguard such as himself to retire or face reductions of their pensions.

McCracken claimed that City officials "concocted a scheme" to get rid of lifeguards "who did not bow to the pension pressure" by increasing their run and swim testing requirements so that they could not qualify for their positions.  He claimed the the officials behind the alleged scheme were Fire Chief Joseph Foglio, Deputy Fire Chief Charles Bowman and Beach Patrol Operations Director Thomas Mullineaux.

McCracken's lawsuit stated that even though he passed the run test, McCracken failed the swim test by three seconds.  He said that his failure to pass the swim test resulted in him being fired on June 27, 2011.

The case is captioned McCracken, v. City of Ocean City, et al, Cape May County Superior Court Docket No. CPM-L-277-13 and McCracken's attorney was initially Alan J. Cohen of Northfield and later Kevin Costello of Mount Laurel.    The lawsuit and court order are on-line here.